You may remember recreating the planets from Styrofoam spheres in your elementary school science class, but Adam Makarenko takes that concept to the next level by branching outside our solar system to create hyper-realistic exoplanet models.
According to Vocativ, the Toronto-based photographer uses Styrofoam or plaster to craft each miniature world by hand. His exoplanet series evolved from an earlier project in which he built models of deep-space probes. He started building planets to hang in the backgrounds of those pictures, and soon enough his celestial creations became the focus of the work.
Because Makarenko is drawing inspiration from planets at least a few light years from our own, he takes a few artistic liberties with the landscapes he recreates. That being said, he does make an effort to incorporate the available information, Vocativ reports.
After constructing an exoplanet in stunning detail, his final step is taking a photograph that envisions the body in space. His images, showcased on Instagram, include details like rings, moons, stars, and volcanic eruptions on the surfaces of his planets. Makarenko plans to release a book highlighting some of his most impressive pieces in the future. He also hopes to build models of 1000 exoplanets—and with the number of known exoplanets growing each year, he won’t have worry about running out of material if he wishes to keep going.
Header/banner images: iStock.